If you are a regular attendee of UK anime conventions, then you will
know that Ayacon is probably the biggest of the lot.
Con fans often state that the previous Ayacon, held in 2005,
was the best convention they have ever been to. They cite a
great atmosphere, parties, wide variety of events and great
facilities as the main reasons, alongside an excellent venue.
The venue for Ayacon is Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry.
The largest of its kind in the Midlands it plays host to regular
events such as orchestras, plays, dance performances and comedians
which include Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey. With big names like
that, Animetion was hopeful the venue would prove an
excellent choice for a convention with over 1,000 attendees.
On first impressions, it looked was excellent. It was big,
spacious and was held in three buildings, all close to each other,
with onsite shops and cashpoints.
throughout the weekend. Registration was swift thanks to a
huge number of desks
After that, it was onto the
on-site accommodation, which was very good. It was just a few
minutes away from the where everything was taking place, making for
a quick retreat if you needed to drop something off to picking
something up, without worrying too much about missing anything that
was going on.
There were a few negatives though. The pillow for the bed was very uncomfortable, which despite fluffing and flumping to the nth degree, was flatter then a pancake! Worse then this though was the dorm cleaners. They must have been working on a time-system for when the university is open, as between 9am and 10am, someone would knock on your door and then go right ahead and unlock it before walking in, not giving you a chance to say your in there. One member of Animetion was in the middle of changing into cosplay when this happened and were lucky enough to be fully clothed, but they could have easily walked in on someone half naked. Perhaps if they should have waited until after 10am, once events were starting each day, to minimise disrupting people in the morning.
After dropping off suitcases, food was the next priority and there were a few places littered about the convention where con-goers could get food. In the main building, where most of the events were held, there was a small diner, with a selection of sandwiches and cakes. There was also cooked food during the morning, including sausage and bacon sandwiches. It was a nice enough selection, but depending on what you ordered, the waiting time varied. Next up was the Asian cuisine in the reception building. The selection here was small, including curries and stir-fries, but was decent. Food was served fairly quickly and the food itself was very good.
Animetion's favourite spot however was onsite pub The Dirty Duck. Looking like a traditional pub it had a fine selection of food, including some delicious burgers, along with some great ale on tap. Unfortunately it was only open on the Friday, which meant a lot of people missed out. It was a shame that it was closed for the remainder of the event, as we felt it had the best place for food, plus it was very spacious.
The clear top-choice for people
though had to be the Costcutter that was right next to the
convention buildings. With plenty of snacks, food and alcohol
available, all at cheaper prices then the pubs and diners, it is
unsurprising that so many people were heading there to get whatever
they might need during the weekend.